26-year-old Taya Smith– with delicately silvered curly hair- stands tall in the conference room of the East Wintergarden Hotel, wearing ripped skinny jeans, biker boots and a soft leather jacket. Before we’ve even greeted one another her smile meets us across the room, and in her soft Australian accent, she expresses her excitement to meet us.
Taya grew up on the far north coast of New South Wales, Australia, and first began faithfully serving in the children’s youth ministry, leading and helping with kid’s work. Then in February 2013, after her faithful committed heart, she became the cornerstone in shaping the sound of Hillsong UNITED today.
As she gracefully begins to talk about UNITED’s current tour, so much of her love and passion for her creator is revealed. Her eyes are ignited with an enthusiasm to serve the Lord and His church. Not much older than myself, Taya is so deeply rooted in the word of God that not even the overwhelming thought of leading 20,000 people in worship can waver her faith.
I still recall the first time I heard Oceans: lyrics that hit my soul. There’s something about Taya’s voice; it echoes God’s infinite power and love for us. When she sings ever so beautifully, her love for Jesus is kept no secret. The power in her voice acts as a love song to which she sings out to God.
At just 26, she has made the sacrifice to serve not only the local church, but also the greater kingdom of Christ; and lives each day expecting Him to move in abundant ways.
As she readied herself to lead 20,000 people in worship; we asked her for 3 Dating Tips to offer our readers. Spoken with such humility and grace- we take a step into Taya’s beautiful and ever-inspiring world.
1. Guard your heart
“Firstly, I’d just like to say that I’m on the journey myself so I don’t have it all perfectly together. I think for me, firstly read in the bible exactly what it says about guarding your heart. I go to the bible about advice for everything really. It actually talks about guarding your heart so many times, and it
wouldn’t be written that many times if it wasn’t super important; holding so much value. So make sure you discover what God says about guarding your heart.”
2. Don’t marry them in your heart before you’ve actually married them
“Loads of people marry in their heart before they actually marry there partner- and sometimes it doesn’t work out… Someone actually challenged me once and said, “So you’re dating this guy Taya, what happens if it doesn’t work out- will you be ok?”. To which I replied, “What! Why would you say that- of course I want it to work out!”. She said that you should have a relationship where if it didn’t work out, you would still be ok. It’s just good to keep a check with yourself that you’re actually guarding your heart and integrity. That the relationship is healthy- physically and emotionally. Let’s say you did break up; you would want to leave knowing both of you are going to be ok; ultimately because you have Jesus. So, don’t marry them in your heart before you’ve actually married them”
3. Be honest, and get Discipled!
“Don’t guard your heart so much that you’re not actually ever open. It’s one thing to guard it, but you actually need to open it up and listen to God. Hands open, and give your whole life to Him. You need God to speak into your life. Also it’s about discipline and being honest. Be honest with yourself too. You also need to have people around you. People that are going to shape you and inspire you with your best interests at heart. People who will correct you in love, and be honest with you.”
By Lisa Walden
Picture Credit: Hannah Elizabeth Burton